Monday, December 19, 2016

Roaring Twenties= A La Carte

There is a scene from the movie, "The Roaring Twenties" (1939, starring James Cagney and Humprey Bogart-1st degree!!) in which an Italian mob hit involves a shootout in a restaurant. Hiding under checkered tablecloths.

Purple Gang: operated out of Detroit 1910s-1932. Jewish bootleggers & hijackers.

BTW: October 29,1929, Black Tuesday. 16.5 Million shares change hands in a single day" As of 2014, the average was 5.7 billion shares.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Coco comes to NYC!!

Coco will be performing at 54 Below ... and so, by relativity, keep the Monkee spirit performing. 

Here she is from 2014, doing Different Drum at BB King's (where I first met Micky).  

The final Monkee concerts are too final to contemplate.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Final Shows (?)

These days we are coming to the end of the 2016 tour.

A few weeks ago was a Shoe Suede Blues Fan Party in Maryland (I couldn't go)

So many goodbyes (again)

And then Davy's Church burned to the ground.....

Sad, but we all have the sense they will be with us always. Beyond this earth, beyond music, beyond our imaginings.

They have been born again so many times after they have slipped away from us.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Nez's Last Show

There was much debate about the end of Nez's performing as a Monkee. One main question was "Does this mean the end of The Guys?"

And then Peter had a family emergency. And Nez filled in.

September 16 was the 50th anniversary of the first show. Around the same time as Mike's last performance.

Full circle, indeed.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MDolenz Hour Interview

Some notes from the great interview above!

You can hear Micky talk about remembering the audition.
4 different pilots about Music:
Surfing Band (Beach Boy)
Peter, Paul & Mary: "The Happeners" (went to Pilot, must exist somewhere!!)
Randy Sparks, Mighty Wind
"The Monkeys"
Biff, Bill, Joe, Frank+character roles
He knew the security guard, cameraman Irving Lippman, the schoolteacher!

Marx Bros, Jerry Lewis, Donald OConnor
Will Rogers
Remember them Screening Marx Bros, Laurel & Hardy, very specifically they did NOT 3 STOOGES "We don't want it to go there. Never gonna hit each other, never gonna make fun of each other,"
One for all, All for one
Julie Newmar was the closest to jealousy
Marx Bros more than Beatles "Day at the Races"
Touch of Monty Python-preceding it, wearing drag
Old Hollywood & Marx Bros did it all the time

Which episode do you remember shooting?
All in order
It's all the same episode, it's 52 half hours of 25 half hours
I remember PEOPLE, Julie Newmar, Stan Freberg (History of US), Rose Marie, Hans Conreid
& Crew
Comedy NOT TOPICAL & NOT satirical!!
vs Laugh In
(TOO on-topic, "have to have watched the news that week to get the references")
Written for 14 year olds
Worked on a couple of different levels
Devil & PT
(Also Frodis)
>>>WORDS YOU can't say on Network TV, George Carlin
MD: We were never successful, it was about the "struggle"
Everyone was "trying" to be the Beatles
TV show about a band who wanted to be the Beatles
(and went off the air when they became it, HEAD was the nightmare inversion of it)
Driving around happened during lunch, we need B-roll footage
Bob Rafelson-singlehandedly
He was a roadie for a Folk Group???
Lightning in a Bottle> You can't take it apart only because of one element (can't reduce it to a formula)
Bob Showed Mike "A Face in the Crowd" & said that was what would happen
"Masters of their own Destiny"-NBC was worried & wanted a Manager, tested badly & nobody could tell the boys apart
(reinforce the ID of each boy, you could cheer when you saw the printed word of their name)
"I don't know where they got the money for Easy Rider"

How did HEAD feel filming vs the tv show?
As different as you can get
Rather than make a 90 minute episode of the Monkees
which would have been QUITE commercially successful
Jack Nicholson,  we all fell madly in love with him, so charming & charismatic
He went away & crafted the marvelous script

Andrew Sandoval & John Hughes come up
Rosanne Welch asks the first question, can I give you my book?
The actors got with the flow, cast bc of spontaneity & improvisational nature
Caused problems, created environment, "Nuclear Fission" radioactive material, MUST contain it
Juggled between letting us bounce off the walls
Improv exercises, they encouraged us, "Whaddya got?"
When there was another actor, we tried to pull back bc the other actors were doing their lines
What was your favorite episode?
I don't remember them as episodes?
Remember some scenes a little bit, so fast, so intense
Don't film the episodes in order
Start on Monday-Wed, Thurs-Fri-Mon, a few days off
A revolving door of other people & costume changes
Bob had toured in the 50's, met Schneider
Event where they showed HEAD, Bert said he was a big Monkees fan
Jacki Cooper was a big supporter
Goin Down in Blu Ray, 35mm film elements

"We SAW THE BEATLES at Dodger Stadium" 44:22 (in NYC!) (Aug 28, 1966)
Learned how to hit my leg & snare at same time bc couldn't hear the snare drum (still plays that way)
Peter carried Pete Seeger's autograph in his wallet for decades bc such a big fan
Hey, I did a movie about you (That Thing You Do)
"It must be summer">> Such a Monkees song!  Do a cover of it (Adam Schesinger's song)
Rivers loves writing to instruction

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lynn Thigpen and Bobo Lewis Foundation Still Remembered

Bobo Lewis is the incredible Miss Chomsky in Find the Monkees (#19).  Her character was not played as written, but BETTER.  Lewis is one of those legendary actresses who is quietly and persistently talented. We are lucky to have her performances on the Monkees, Bewitched and even Shining Time Station.

She worked on a Broadway version of Studs Terkel's Working, which is where she met up with Lynne Thigpen, an incredible Tony winning African American actress whose face is very familiar to anyone who has been paying attention.  (She passed away suddenly)

Lynne Thigpen had Bobo Lewis as her mentor, and they put the idea into the world as an ongoing mentorship program (which happens anyway, informally or not).  It was one of those great NYC Theater stories that now exists as a ghost on the internet.  It was announced in 2005, and hasn't quite survived.

I did some research and found a number for the Foundation.  And called.

I had a lovely conversation with Lynne's husband and was happy to be able to conjure up these lovely women for a few moments.

Meanwhile, later that night, Carole King handed a Tony Award to Lin Manuel Miranda for HAMILTON and he read the following poem for LOVE and against the horrible events of Orlando this morning, and death in general.

My wife's the reason anything gets done. 
She nudges me towards promise by degrees. 
She is a perfect symphony of one, our son is her most beautiful reprise. 
We chase the melodies that seem to find us  
until they're finished songs and start to play. 
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us 
that nothing here is promised, not one day. 
This show is proof that history remembers. 
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. 
We rise and fall and light from dying embers. 
Remembrances that hope and love live longer. 
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. 
As sacred as a symphony, Eliza tells her story and fills the world with music love and pride.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Pictures from 50 Years Ago

Nice drum logo. Maybe you should try a different shape?

California? What could they be talking about?

The view from the back porch of the pad.  Nice tree. Maybe you should water it, guys!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Concert on Release Day!!

Shameless joy.

Cool poster! 

The venue, the Wilbur in Boston.

The full band during "She Makes Me Laugh"

Peter giving the mic to a little girl during "Daydream Believer"

And the set list went home with one of these lucky girls!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Latest Videos

You bring the summer was released a tad bit early.

And last week, She Makes Me Laugh!!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When one of our sisters passes on ....

The FB community of Monkee fan family has certain rules & ways to respect & honor each other. Someone posted pics from a friend who passed on, with a STRONG warning not to share. I was wondering about this tradition & why it is so important to give credit, esp when it comes to Monkee photos.

Something sacred seems to be photos especially. Those taken by someone brings them ownership to the photos. Photos are meant to be shared, and seen, and credit is of utmost importance.

Photos taken at concerts, or book signings or other events are "private". Even if they are performing in a giant arena & in full view of everyone. 

ie If pictures get "shared" on FB, without proper credit, it is a VERY big deal. (It's never happened to me, but I've witnessed it!!)

Friendships have deteriorated by people "sharing" photos without attribution or permission. (As in "If the photo is not yours, don't pretend it is") As if someone is trying to steal the credit, the image and the moment.

I've been wondering about this deeply, and I feel like each photo is just like a "private" moment caught by the photographer. Beyond that, when they get viewed afterwards (or in the old days "developed") they are personal memories. "Captured" by the photographer her/himself. A way to get some privacy in the midst of this giant phenomena. (Nothing weird or sexual implied here, honestly, it just seems like a way to carve out a distinct piece. And explains the strong sense of ownership)

Do other people feel this way?  Does this sound true, or completely off the wall?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

30 Years Ago Today! MTV Monkee Marathon!

On February 23, 1986, MTV brought back the most beloved show in history (not that I'm biased).

They showed all 58 episodes in a row, which is a mind boggling journey, not just through 1966 to 1968.  All the bits and pieces bring together American History, Vaudeville, Hollywood and American music evolution. And that's just a superficial viewing.

The original (grainy) commercial for it may entice you to begin binge watching!  Is it just the old videotape, or did TV really look like that in 1986?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

First Show of 50th Annual Reunion Tour Announced

If Micky is on stage & invites Peter up, does it count as a first reunion tour concert for 2016? 

This happened last night, January 16,2016.
The other announcement:
January 30 in Louisiana. Peter & Micky.

No other events/performers announced.  (i.e. NO FULL TOUR ANNOUNCED AS OF YET)

Who is wondering if there will be more? (I know I am!!)
Picture courtesy of Facebook by way of:
>>Jennifer Schrinel
>>Carl Tapia

Saturday, January 16, 2016

David Bowie's Homage to Uncle Floyd (Vivino)

The following is written by our talented Guest Blogger "Mary Mary" Ciuffitelli and was first published for Malia Collective.  She brings together David Bowie (nee David Jones), Jimmy Durante and Uncle Floyd.

Rest in Peace David Bowie, who I just discovered recorded a song in tribute to NJ Italian-American icon Floyd Vivino. 
This bit of news came via Some of you know that, for me, all roads lead to The Monkees. I especially love the points where The Monkees and Italia meet. There are so many. Like, Micky’s dad was an Italian-born Hollywood actor. Or that The Monkees once sang a comic “Mussolini We’re with You.”   "I got a million of ‘em," to quote Jimmy Durante — who handed them their Emmy in 1967.
So here’s this winding road: David Bowie, born David Jones, changes his name in the 1960s so as not to be confused with gigantic pop star David Jones of The Monkees. In the 1970s, Bowie becomes a huge fan of the Uncle Floyd TV show, watching episodes with fellow fans Iggy Pop and John Lennon at the Dakota. In 1981, he attends Uncle Floyd's live appearance at the Bottom Line and later records the song "Slip Away” paying  tribute. 
I wasn’t familiar with the song, but its quintessential Bowie. Been listening to the playlist on Youtube. Haunting.
RIP David Bowie 

Oogie knew there's never ever time
Some of us will always stay behind
Down in space it's always 1982
The joke we always knew
What'sa matter with you
C'mon, let's go
Slip away
Songfacts: the song’s story and lyrics

David Bowie: The Other David Jones  by Fred Velez on Monkees.Net  January 11,2016 
“Bowie was very friendly and charming and was thrilled to be at the club as an Uncle Floyd fan enjoying the show with the rest of us. Bowie later recorded the song Slip Away as a tribute to Uncle Floyd.” 

"Slip Away” video: This version includes photo of Uncle Floyd with Sicilian-American Cyndi Lauper. Though there are other beautiful versions of Bowie in live performances, mentioning the show.

Live performance with projected clips of the show, lyrics, and a shout out to Floyd:


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